It has been said that the sum is always greater than the parts. The parts can be good but together they are exceptional and that holds true in the case of MVP. The Milligan Vaughan Project or MVP is a musical partnership between Austin’s highly acclaimed vocalist Malford Milligan – and – guitar slinger Tyrone Vaughan both of whom have a rich musical history steeped in The Blues and Rock and Roll. It was at an early age that both were introduced to music that would become an integral part of their lives.
Some of Tyrone’s earliest memories go back to the early days of Antones, Austin’s legendary Home of the Blues. The legendary Muddy Waters gave him one of his harmonicas which he proceeded to blow on, and Muddy put cotton in Tyrones ears before starting his set. He found himself sleeping in Boz Skaggs guitar case and as a kid wearing out his toy guitars in no time. His first true guitar given to him on his 5th birthday by his uncle Stevie Ray Vaughan was an old Harmony scored at the local pawn shop. Later on it was Stevie, Lou Ann Barton and WC Clark all pitching in and buying Tyrone a Fender Musicmaster. Stevie Ray was very proud of that small neck guitar and happy that his nephew was following in his and his father Jimmie’s footsteps. Since those early years, he has performed with Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Doyle Bramhall, Doyle Bramhall II, (Little) Jimmy King, SRV’s Double Trouble, Pinetop Perkins, John Popper and Eric Gales. In April of 2015, Vaughan joined Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) featuring Cyril Neville on vocals, in result of 2 albums on Ruf Records, one recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and the other album recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice LA.
No stranger to the blues, Malford Milligan was born in Taylor, Texas but as a young child music took a back seat to just trying to get by. In 1981, after a short stay in Lubbock, TX as a student at Texas Tech, Milligan moved to Austin to begin studies at the University of Texas. Instead of academics, singing took precedent and Monday night blues jams became the beginning of a life in music. His local band, Stick People, launched his career as a talented singer. In 1994, he helped form the Texas super group, Storyville, David Holt, David Grissom and the rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble, which included bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Storyville released two stellar albums on Atlantic Records along with th independently released CD/DVD titled LIVE AT ANTONES. As a session singer, Milligan was in great demand. He toured and worked on albums together with other outstanding musicians, including Hal Ketchum, Marcia Ball, Alejandro Escovedo, Sue Foley and Eric Johnson. He has also appeared on The Voice NBC TV series on September 30, 2013 and was recently named “Vocalist of the Year” at The Austin Chronicle Music Awards.
Both Malford and Tyrone have a deep love for the Blues, along with a strong mutual respect for each other, and both share a part in Austin’s rich musical history. At the time when each were looking to see what the future held and what musical path they might take – one phone call followed by a short meeting brought the two together – and The Milligan Vaughan Project was launched. There is a feeling of family here. Though not technically related the bond between them is still strong. The stage is where they are both most comfortable and the synergy between these two musicians which will bring you to your feet.
So what does 2017 hold for these two talented musicians? After an inaugural performance for Austin’s SUN Radio, followed by a public show at South by Southwest, look for MVP to head into the studio to record their debut CD followed by a worldwide tour. Hold on! This ride is just starting and the future looks mighty bright indeed.